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Boeing calls for 128 planes to be grounded after Colorado incident

A United Airlines Boeing 777-220, which had taken off Saturday from Denver (Colorado) for Honolulu (Hawaii), with 231 passengers and ten crew members, had to turn around urgently after the fire in his right reactor.

The aircraft was able to land safely at Denver Airport and none of its occupants were injured.

As the Boeing returned to the airport, a shower of debris, some large, fell in a residential area in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver. But no one was injured on the ground, according to local authorities.

The US Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority (FAA) on Sunday ordered additional inspections on certain Boeing 777-type commercial planes, while United Airlines, the company affected by the incident, and the two main Japanese airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), grounded their aircraft with an engine similar to the one that caused the problem. The United States National Transportation and Safety Board is also investigating the incident.

“While the investigation is ongoing, we have recommended that the operations of the 69 777 aircraft in service and 59 stock aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4,000-112 engines be suspended,” Boeing said in a statement.

Another blow after the setbacks of the 737 MAX

The American aircraft manufacturer had already experienced a serious problem in recent years with another of its models, the 737 MAX. The plane was banned from flying in March 2019 after two accidents which left 346 dead, that of Lion Air in Indonesia in October 2018 (189 dead) and that of Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019 in Ethiopia (157 dead).

After more than 20 months of prohibition, a modification of the flight control software and the implementation of new pilot training protocols, the aircraft was allowed to fly again. The Boeing 737 MAX commercial flights resumed took place from December 2020, first in Brazil, then in the United States and Canada. The first commercial flight in Europe, under the colors of the Belgian company TUI fly, took place on Wednesday February 17 between Brussels and Alicante, then Malaga, in Spain.

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